News From the Outdoors
Fall has officially made its debut at Woodend, and the Detectives have been busy noticing the changes that have marked its arrival! From collecting leaves and seeds to experimenting with fruits and thinking about a season of harvesting, the Detectives have been spotting clues in places both new and familiar.
We began our week by thinking about Fall harvests. What does it mean to harvest something? What types of plants might we harvest? …What better place to answer these questions than one where harvests are currently underway: Homestead Farms! Together with carpool buddies, the Detectives departed from Audubon and headed out to the farm to see where food is grown.
We heard about the needs and care of various farm animals, and even had some things in common with them. Piglets love apples, and goats enjoy going down slides- connection! After an exciting (and bumpy!) hayride around the farm, the Detectives arrived at the pumpkin patch and were each able to choose their own pumpkin. Each child searched for one that was just the right fit for them, and practiced responsibility by carrying it back to the hayride. We ended the day with a crunchy snack of apples, grown fresh from the farm! What an exciting trip!
Seeing the plants growing at the farm got us thinking a lot about the things growing here at Woodend. With the help of our Naturalists, the Detectives set out to explore the grounds in search of various leaves, fruits, and seeds.
We found leaves in so many colors that are falling from our resident deciduous trees, and collected seeds in all sizes, ranging from large walnuts to tiny grass seeds.
Our searches for Fall clues had us playing and exploring in familiar areas, such as the bird blind and playground, and brought us into new areas as well. Together, we ventured to the pond, children’s garden, and lookout, where new play ideas were sparked and children were able to utilize their fine and gross motor skills. The children worked together to balance on logs, transport large sticks, pick up tiny seeds, and make some wonderful memories together.
The end of the week brought us some wet weather, and the Detectives were thrilled to test out their puddle stomping boots! Exploring the wet creek bed gave us the chance to squish through the mud, get “stuck” in the muck, and create a splash zone for powerful stomps! We are looking forward to more fun weather in the upcoming weeks!
News From the Classroom
Our seed and harvest theme continued in the classroom this week, where the Detectives were busy experimenting with a variety of materials!
Following our farm field trip in which we had looked at the outside of pumpkins, we opened up a pumpkin and took a look inside! The Detectives pulled out the seeds to see how many were inside before roasting two different varieties- cinnamon and salt- for a little taste test.
Seeing the inside of a pumpkin made us curious about the insides of apples. After reading a riddle about the star inside an apple, we cut open an apple and took a peak at its seeds. The Detectives switched into their scientist mode, and made hypotheses about what would happen to an apple when its skin was altered. The following day, they used their powers of observation to describe the changes.
The Detectives experimented with different materials for art projects, and made paintings using walnuts and apples! Friendships continued to flourish as they worked together to construct bridges and ramps for rolling apples, to build puzzles, and to mix up a new batch of playdough. We even worked together to play a new game- Hi Ho Apple-O! What an appletastic week!
Books We Read
Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell
Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown
Field Trip Book, Written and Illustrated by the Nature Detectives!
Red Leaf Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert
Star of the Apple (storyboard)
Weekly Top Hits
Farmer Ben Had a Farm (tune of Old Macdonald)
Wait and See
I’m a nut (3x)
Gonna grow into a big oak tree,
I may be small,
but someday I’ll be tall,
wait and see!
Spoiler Alert: Next week we will continue to look for more changes around Woodend, and will start preparing for our celebration of the season!